News / Science & Technology

New Prize Awards Millions to Life Scientists

Russian entrepreneur and venture capitalist Yuri Milner (R) speaks while Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg looks on at the Life Sciences Breakthrough Prize announcement in San Francisco, California, Feb. 20, 2013.Russian entrepreneur and venture capitalist Yuri Milner (R) speaks while Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg looks on at the Life Sciences Breakthrough Prize announcement in San Francisco, California, Feb. 20, 2013.
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Russian entrepreneur and venture capitalist Yuri Milner (R) speaks while Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg looks on at the Life Sciences Breakthrough Prize announcement in San Francisco, California, Feb. 20, 2013.
Russian entrepreneur and venture capitalist Yuri Milner (R) speaks while Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg looks on at the Life Sciences Breakthrough Prize announcement in San Francisco, California, Feb. 20, 2013.
VOA News
A group of Internet entrepreneurs has established the world's richest prize for work in medicine and biology. The three million award is more than twice the amount of the Nobel Prize. This week, 11 scientists were named the first winners of the Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences.

Many of them are researching the genetics of cell growth, and how it can go wrong to cause cancer.

The annual award was created by Russian venture capitalist Yuri Milner and other high-tech philanthropists, including Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and Google co-founder Sergey Brin.

Milner began recognizing physicists last year, with the Fundamental Physics Prizes. The next round of those three million dollar awards will be announced on March 20 in Geneva. His goal with both prizes, he says, is to raise public awareness of scientists who have spent their lives advancing human knowledge.

The Breakthrough Prize has already been criticized for focusing on established researchers, rather than the many scientists who collaborate to foster advancement. But future recipients will be selected by previous winners, who may be more aware of the rising stars and unsung heroes in their fields.

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by: chiefdembe from: South Africa
February 24, 2013 6:56 AM
great stuff, techies. this will indeed lead to more scientific breakthroughs that can lead to the discovery of new cures to diseases

by: Yoshi from: Sapporo
February 24, 2013 2:53 AM
It seems these fouders are rich enough to make a breakthrough award only in amount of prize money. Probably they do not know how to use surplus money except this way. I wonder how long this award would be run with three millions. It depends on their income which easily stumbles over economy.

by: Kitagawa Keikoh from: Jiyugaoka, JPN
February 23, 2013 5:41 AM
Why only life science and biotechnology ?
Our everyday life is supported by shipping. Economy can not growth without shipping materials and good overseas.
We need to focus on ships and shipbuilding technologies to improve our life.

by: equalearth from: global
February 22, 2013 9:29 PM
the planet doesn't need more science for the time being other than for contraception and safe abortion: it needs a population reduction policy to restore equilibrium with the natural habitat/primary forests/biodiversity to restore a clean/healthy environment for all instead of growth=debt=inflation=pollution=finite resource depletion=toxic/radioactive waste mountains=ever lower quality of life

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